To this day a lot of Chicago Bears fans have not forgiven GM Ryan Pace for taking Mitch Trubisky in 2017. He had eventual stars Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in his lap and he basically went with the Marc Trestman version of choices. Now the Bears are stuck right back where they’ve been for decades. Sporting a great defense trying to carry an uneven quarterback and underachieving offense. Same song, different verse.
Longtime Bears insider Dan Pompei went back through his many interviews during that time to assess whether the team had fooled themselves into that pick or not. Truth be told there were plenty of scouts and front office men who liked him and thought he had a bright NFL future. At the same time, it was eerie how many of them actually ended up almost exactly right about how his pro career would go.
Front office man 1: “What concerns me is lack of experience, why he couldn’t beat out an inferior player in terms of skills. He spent two years behind a player he should have beat out. Can he make the reads and understand the game, read coverages under center? It will be an issue.”
Front office man 2: “He struggles to make quick decisions. He doesn’t make great decisions.”
Front office man 3: “You don’t like the one year of starting. He’s not an alpha dog like Watson.”
Front office man 4: “He’s very mechanical. His instincts aren’t good. He goes into funks in games. His pro day workout wasn’t even that good throwing to his receivers.”
Front office man 5: “He’s inconsistent, then dynamic in his play. The NFL exposes players like that real fast.”
Mitch Trubisky was nailed by a lot of guys
Keep in mind, not every front office man Pompei interviewed had that opinion. It is disconcerting though that so many ended up nailing exactly how the quarterback would look in the NFL. The frequent bouts of indecision. His inability to see the field and read defenses. The occasional lapses of accuracy even on the easier throws. His amazing roller coaster moments between outstanding play and cringeworthy mistakes.
As the saying goes, that’s why those guys get paid the big bucks. The draft is a crapshoot. Everybody knows this. That said, quarterbacks are studied more than any other position by a mile. The general feeling is Pace went with his heart instead of his head in his evaluation of Trubisky. That is the only way to explain why he was sold on the North Carolina product before the college season was even over. Not to mention why he didn’t even bother to meet with Watson.
Obviously hindsight is always 20/20. Pace wasn’t a man alone on the Trubisky decision. It’s well-documented the rest of his front office were all-in on the choice too. That said, this revelation offers a fair reminder when it comes to the evaluation process. Many times the biggest red flag about a player isn’t there by coincidence. It’s there for a reason.